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City of Huntsville Grants Huntsville Hospital Foundation Funding to Help Reduce Opioid Use Disorder Patient Readmissions

Hospitalized patients with OUD are at high risk for poor outcomes and readmission to emergency departments and hospitals.

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Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and the Huntsville City Council approved an $850,000 grant to support an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Transitional Care Program at Huntsville Hospital and Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.

Hospitalized patients with OUD are at high risk for poor outcomes and readmission to emergency departments and hospitals. This grant will help the local not-for-profit hospitals reduce repeat admissions of OUD patients and connect them with community resources to facilitate full addiction recovery.

Because of this funding, the hospitals will be able to:

  1. Add two dedicated Patient Navigators to its Transitional Care Team to provide case management, advocacy and motivational support during hospitalizations, and connect OUD patients with community resources. Huntsville Hospital has experienced a 40 percent increase in substance abuse-related visits since 2020. The new Patient Navigators will follow-up with these patients after discharge, help them transition to recovery services and work to increase the number of individuals who enter outpatient treatment for this disorder.
  2. Launch an OUD Moms Outreach initiative to educate pregnant mothers with OUD and prepare them for the birth of their babies. The number of pregnant women diagnosed with OUD in the U.S. has quadrupled over the last decade. Infants born to OUD mothers suffer from Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS), and must go through a difficult withdrawal phase to become healthy. This funding will help the hospital empower OUD moms to use methods that better manage their babies born with NOWS, producing better outcomes for babies and families.

The grant funding was secured by the City through past opioid lawsuit settlements, and will pay out to Huntsville Hospital Foundation over five years. Expected project outcomes include:

  • A decrease in Madison County opioid overdose mortality,
  • Improved treatment access for vulnerable population of OUD HH patients, and
  • A decrease in hospital readmissions of persons with OUD/overdose.

“Thank you to Mayor Battle and the City of Huntsville for partnering with us to help combat this critical issue right here Huntsville,” said Huntsville Hospital Foundation President Sarah Savage-Jones. “This generous funding will expand the vital work of our community hospitals and further our mission of improving the health of those we serve.”